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Dancing With the Stars

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IL duo takes stage for 1st time in benefit

By Mark Manicone

Indian Land is known for its explosive residential and industrial growth, but now the Panhandle can also be known for its first-ever duo to take part in Lancaster County’s Dancing With the Stars.
Archie Walker, owner of Archie Boy’s Texas Style Barbeque, and Melissa Prince, INSP vice president of corporate communications, are eagerly prepping for February’s competition, and have already enjoyed every minute with their student coaches.
“They can really dance. We’re putting in a lot of time and it’s really been wonderful, and it’s been a good distraction lately,” Walker said.
Prince said their coaches have the duo moving all across the dance floor.
“They have Archie and I throwing each other around. I’m 60 years old – I hope I don’t hurt anything,” she said, laughing.
But while there’s fun to be had now, Walker initially had no idea what he was signing up for.
“I got bamboozled. Someone told me that there’s an opportunity for you and your business, so I thought someone just wanted the food truck somewhere,” he said. “Next thing I know I get a call from a lady saying, ‘Hi. I’m with the Lancaster County Dancing With the Stars and I heard you were going to dance for us.’ And I said, ‘wait a minute.’ Next thing you know, I’m twerking.”
The 42-year-old father of three said his wife Lisa and daughters took his entrance into the competition well, albeit at his expense.
“My wife thought it was hilarious,” Walker said. “My middle daughter said ‘no twerking.’ My little daughter said, ‘Dad, don’t embarrass me.’
“But that’s my job and that’s what I’m going to do,” he replied jovially. 
For Prince, being in the competition is twice as exciting because this will be her first time attending the Lancaster County program, and she’ll be in it.
“I couldn’t go last year because of something with my work, so this is really my first time going, ever,” Prince said. “This has been such an experience … and what great support this has from the community.”
The event will be held at the new Lancaster High School multipurpose room, and not the auditorium. This year’s program is Saturday, Feb. 2, at 7:30 p.m., with an art auction and Andrew Jackson Middle School chorus and band performances starting at 6 p.m. After the dancers perform, there will be an after party with light refreshments where guests can meet with the stars and take pictures at the photo booth.
“We bought 150 additional tickets and they’re selling pretty fast,” said Ashley Collins, executive producer of the program. “I’m so, so excited. We’re seeing all this community growth and we’ve had more sponsors than we ever imagined. We’ll all be able to celebrate in this space together.”
Tickets are available at Andrew Jackson Middle School in Kershaw, The Preppy Pineapple and Lancaster Jewelers in Lancaster, and the Southern Olive in Indian Land. General admission is $20 and includes the after-party with the stars. For more information, contact AJMS at (803) 475-6021.
All proceeds benefit the Fine Arts Focus Program. The program serves the entire Lancaster County School District, and students must audition to get into the program. 
Students can focus on dance, theater, visual arts, band/strings or chorus. AJMS is an Arts in Basic Curriculum (ABC) site – one of only 29 middle schools with this distinction in the state. 
The ABC Project provides leadership to achieve quality, comprehensive arts education (dance, music, media arts, theater, visual arts and creative writing) for all students in South Carolina, and is cooperatively directed by the S.C. Arts Commission, the S.C. Department of Education and the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Winthrop University.

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Follow reporter Mark Manicone on Twitter @mark_manicone or contact him at (803) 283-1152.